|February 22, 2017
Dear Members and Former Members of NPS,As President I want to provide a progress report on the activities of the newly elected board or Council, as we call it, of The Newfoundland Pony Society. We took office on the first of January for a two-year term, and all members were eager to get off to a good start in getting the new council going.We had an orientation session and first meeting on January 7th and the first regular Council meeting on February 2nd, and got off on a positive note in getting to know each other and having a good discussion about priorities.
Though lots of good ideas were discussed the overwhelming priority expressed by Council Members for our term of office was the Registering of Eligible Ponies and the Registration Process, followed by Communication. Communication between council members and above all with pony owners, members and potential members. This letter is a part of the follow-up on that priority.
Membership: Our new Membership Secretary, Jodie Demerais, has been working to encourage member renewals and new members. Because our Constitution provides for an annual membership, we must start off each year to rebuild our membership numbers. If you renewed or joined after October 1, 2016 your membership is good until the end of December 2017.
Membership is one source of funds for the operation of the Society through the fee, but more importantly, it is a sign of your interest and support for our goals for the promotion, preservation and protection of this fantastic pony breed recognized as a Heritage Animal. So, please sign up online through our website at newfoundlandpony.com or print the membership form and send it in the mail. If you have any questions you can contact Jodie through her email address at email@example.com. One of or goals is to build a strong organization to be able to do a better job for the pony. Last year was a good one for membership with a lot of interest in the election and we want to build on that strength.
Registration: I am happy to report that our new Registrar, Kelly Power-Kean, has been doing a fantastic job in getting up to speed and is enjoying the job of NPS Registrar, with a lot of work done by her and the help of the former registrar and other members of the current council. We have worked out a few kinks in the process and you should see faster turnaround, particularly if you deal directly with the NPS Registry for DNA sampling. The proper sampling instructions and barcode for identification will be sent immediately on submission of an application. If you need to contact Kelly about any aspect of registration her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s also significant to note that we are now up to Registration # 808 on our Registry of Newfoundland Ponies! Importantly, we have registered over 100 ponies that were born in the year 2007 or later and have registered more than 220 ponies born in 2000 or later. This bodes well for the future as we also have many, many, ponies born before 2000 that are registered and still living, quite a few of whom are still breeding.
We are certain there are many other eligible ponies born before or after the year 2000 that qualify for registration and we are anxious to do what we can to get them identified and registered over the next two years of our mandate, while always ensuring the integrity of our Registry. You can help by urging pony owners to register all Newfoundland Ponies with NPS.
Council has also identified an issue which has been holding up several registrations over the past few years – the need for a clear policy on what evidence or documentation is required to establish ownership so a pony can be registered in someone’s name. This can be tricky particularly in transfer situations where the pony may be registered to someone else. The NPS Council has set up a Committee under the Registrar to advise Council on an appropriate policy after looking at what other registries do.
Updated Lineage Report: Council decided at the February meeting to upgrade our website lineage report to include an interactive feature which allows the viewing of a family tree of our Registered ponies by clicking on the pony’s name. We now have an updated Lineage Report of Registered Ponies as of January 30, 2017, on our website with the ‘Family Tree’ feature. This can be found at newfoundlandpony.com at Lineage Report 2017 under the ‘About the NFLD Pony’ drop-down menu. I think you will find it interesting and useful.
Registration Manual Project: We are looking forward to receiving the Report from the Committee on the Registration Manual Project which should be available to Council quite soon. We realize the importance of this project as it represents a comprehensive review of the Registration Procedure and Policies, the first in a long time, and will include a number of recommendations for possible action by NPS.
We believe that members and pony owners want to have a fully transparent process with adequate opportunity for input before a registration policy and the manual itself (with whatever changes are deemed necessary) is adopted by NPS.
Upon receipt of the Report and Recommendations, it is expected that Council will take some time to review and study them and then decide and make known its own recommendations with respect to the report for the consideration and comments of members. Only then should a Registration Manual and other recommendations be adopted. If any changes to the Constitution are required, then these, of course, must be put before a General Meeting of the Newfoundland Pony Society.
This whole process will take some time and we will ask for your patience with the assurance by the Council that everyone will be given the opportunity for input before decisions are made. Time lines will be decided by Council once the report is received and will be publicized.
Downhomer Expo: The Newfoundland Pony Society will again be showcasing our Pony with a full booth at the Annual Downhomer Expo and trade show at The Glacier Arena in Mt. Pearl, NL, from April 28-30. The Downhomer Magazine and organization have been a significant sponsor and supporter of The Newfoundland Pony Society and are making available the space to NPS as part of its sponsorship.
Vice-President, Byron Hierlihy, and At Large Council Member, Tammy Webber, are spearheading the effort on behalf of NPS, coordinating arrangements and recruiting both volunteers and ponies. Tammy Webber’s Annie of Avalon, and Kevin Dawson and family’s Millennium Beauty and Klondyke Lady will be the featured guests. You can see their photo’s on the Newfoundland Pony Facebook page. The committee is still asking for volunteers to help staff the booth, sell tickets, talk to people about the ponies, and generally help to make the event a success. This is a good fundraiser and popular promotional event for the Newfoundland Pony.
Government Relations: I’m pleased to report that in response to our request the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has appointed a formal liaison person within government to work with the Newfoundland Pony Society to help identify ways we can work more closely to achieve our goals. This is a great first step and will be followed up with an early meeting to start the process. As the Society designated by the government to act in the promotion, preservation and protection of the Newfoundland Pony and given the mandate to maintain a Newfoundland Pony Registry, we are most interested in a closer relationship and pursuing new initiatives that will benefit both the province and the pony.
Treasurer Position: Pam Pippy, who has served as our Treasurer for the past five years, has tendered her resignation in order to have the time to pursue other opportunities, and to devote more time to her family. Pam has done an excellent job in looking after the Society’s finances and much, much more. She deserves our thanks and gratitude for all her efforts and will be missed. Thank you, Pam.
We therefore need to fill the Treasurer position as soon as possible. Our Constitution gives Council the authority to appoint a replacement for the balance of the term of a Council Member who resigns. There is one person, a member of NPS and Chartered Professional Accountant in private practice, who has volunteered to act as Treasurer for the Society and we are grateful for the offer. The Vice President and I will meet with him soon to talk about the role. We also wish to give an opportunity to others who may be interested in the position of Treasurer to offer themselves, before a decision is made.
Please let me know at email@example.com if you are interested as soon as possible, so that we can consider all offers to volunteer if there is more than one, and move quickly to have a Treasurer in place. PLEASE NOTE that anyone wishing to be considered for this position should send a written expression of interest including a resume of qualifications for consideration by Council by March 10th 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org
All in all, I think we are off to a good start as the new council, as we make plans to continue our work on behalf of the Pony. We look forward to getting feedback, suggestions for improvement, and any ideas you have on what the Society could consider undertaking to further our objects.